The Brassington Files


Flight School Owner’s Plane Seized for Heroin Trafficking
October 24 2002–Venice FL

N351WBMore than a year before two terrorist pilots flew airliners into the World Trade Center on September 11 2001, a Learjet belonging to the owner of the Venice flight school where Mohamed Atta was learning to fly was seized by DEA Agents wielding submachine guns at Orlando Executive Airport in July 2000.

The plane was carrying 43 pounds of heroin, a shipment large enough to be known in the drug trade as “heavy weight.”


Russian Mob link to 9/11 hijackers

Aug 6 2009

evdVenezuelan Edgar Valles Diaz was arrested carrying 43 lbs of heroin on Wally Hilliard’s Lear jet (N351WB) —in what the Orlando Sentinel called  “the biggest bust in Central Florida history”— at Orlando Executive Airport on July 22, 2000. The paper quoted officials stating that it was “the largest find of its kind in the southeastern United States in recent years.”

According to a member of the Lear jet’s flight crew, Valles Diaz would be greeted when the plane landed  by an organized crime figure from the Russian enclave in Brighton Beach. His name was Igor Borisovich Rabaev, he was wanted on two continents, and was a prominent member of a Russian crime family which used the Uzbek capital of Tashkent as a transshipment point for heroin from Afghanistan.


Charter Crash Exposed Criminal Organization
February 25 2009

Teterboro_Crash.-243x300The Feb 2 2005 crash of a Challenger 600 private jet which overran the runway during takeoff from Teterboro Airport and ploughed across a six-lane highway before diving nose-first into a warehouse exposed an international drug trafficking organization which was located alongside Mohamed Atta and Marwan El Shehhi at the tiny Venice Florida Airport where they were ostensibly learning to fly.

The crashed jet had been flying for former Guyanese military pilot Michael Brassington’s Platinum Jet Management, who had been co-pilot on a Lear jet carrying 43 lbs. of heroin which belonged to Wally Hilliard, the 75-year old owner of Huffman Aviation, Atta’s flight school. The plane was seized on a runway of Orlando Executive Airport, after being surrounded by DEA agents brandishing submachine guns.


9/11-linked Pilot Indicted in New Jersey
February 6 2009

our-man-in-guyana35-year old Guyanese pilot Michael Francis Brassington was indicted in New Jersey federal court on a raft of felony charges in the spectacular crash of a Challenger business jet in February of 2005.

The charges included recklessly endangering the lives of passengers on an ongoing basis, including the lives of celebrities like Dr. Phil, and former Presidents George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton.


Arrested Pilot Flew Jets Owned by Clinton White House Official
February 19 2009

michaelmisic-lisaraye-300x211The pilot arrested in the February 2005 crash of a Challenger business jet at New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport, Michael Francis Brassington, was also flying illegal charter flights for Michael Misick, the garishly-corrupt Premier of the Turks & Caicos Islands, on a Gulfstream business jet owned by a former White House aide to President Bill Clinton.

A British Commission of Inquiry into corruption in the Turks & Caicos Islands heard testimony that Brassington and Turks & Caicos Premier Michael Misick conspired to induce the island’s government to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars a month to Jeffrey Watson, a former Clinton Aide, now a Washington lobbyist, to induce him to lease two high-end Gulfstream III luxury business jets.


Pilot in New Jersey Crash Is Key Figure in Caribbean Probe
February 17 2009

A corruption probe in the Turks & Caicos Islands heard testimony that a pilot who is a key figure in their investigation was recently arrested on felony charges in a spectacular crash at Teterboro Airport which injured 20 people and left one man with permanent brain damage.

However no American paper reported that Brassington, the charter company owner’s and chief pilot, had also been the co-pilot on a plane that made drug smuggling history in Central Florida in July of 2000.


Uncle Peter, Cousin Winston, the Russian Mob, and the CIA

Sept 28 2011

image003Guyanese pilot Michael Brassington’s trial contained oddities unusual in trials assessing criminal negligence. One example: his attorney filed a motion asking the Federal Judge in the case to exclude any testimony that mentioned Brassington in connection with terrorism, or New York’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Back home in Guyana newspapers gleefully headlined his 130-month sentence.  “These guys (Brassington and his brother Paul, a co-defendant)  are the nephews of Peter D’Aguiar,” wrote one observer in Guyana.

“Uncle Peter,” we learned  was a Big Man in Georgetown, controlling one of three major political parties in Guyana.  In 1968, American intelligence asked for his assistance in a CIA-sponsored coup there, and he was only too happy to oblige.


Pilot for 9/11 flight school considered “grave threat to national security”
December 1, 2009

Hilliard-Mug-Shot-226x300When Guyaneses drug pilot Michael Brassington entered the US through Fort Lauderdale International Airport in April of 2004, a Supervisor at Immigrations & Customs Enforcement (ICE) instructed the lone U.S. Customs Agent on duty, a rookie, to treat Brassington—a long-time employee and business associate of Wallace J. Hilliard, owner of the flight school that taught Mohamed Atta to fly— as a “grave threat to national security.”

The former Guyanese military pilot goes on trial in a Federal ourthouse in Newark next month for recklessly endangering the lives of passengers, including numerous celebrities as ex-Presidents George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton.


9/11 Drug Pilot Linked to Operation Blue Lightning
December 22, 2009

bkue3Elements of the U.S. Government took a keen interest in Guyanese drug pilot Michael Brassington during 2003 and 2004. According to interviews with former Customs Agents, Brassington was the subject of a secretive Miami-based U.S. Government operation called ‘Operation Blue Lightning.’

“Whenever he entered the U.S. Brassington was supposed to be met by Customs Agents from a special team from Miami,” stated former Fort Lauderdale Customs Agent James Sanders.


9/11 Heroin Pilot’s 10-Year Crime Spree Ends
Nov 16 2010

teb05tv_28A Bombardier Challenger 600 jet went hurtling past the end of the runway at Teterboro Airport at nearly 200 miles an hour, plowed through a steel perimeter fence and then plunged down an embankment and across a six-lane highway at rush hour, shearing the tops off of two cars and nearly decapitating a driver who bravely shouted a warning to his companion to duck. He was struck by the wing of the plane, leaving him permanently brain-damaged.

The spectacular February 2005 plane crash finally put an end to Michael Brassington’s decade-long crime spree in a federal court in New Jersey, where he now faces 20 years in prison.


Huffman Aviation, Rudi Dekkers and the American Oligarchy

March 28 2013

HuffmanAlums1The world of drug kingpins has something important in common with that of the fashion designers struggling to stay alive on cable TV’s “Project Runway.”

“In Fashion,” intones Supermodel host Heidi Klum, on every episode, “One day you’re In, and the next day…You’re Out!”

The two high fliers got sent to the ‘penalty box’ at the same time. Neither is in fashion, but both Huffman ‘henchman’ Rudi Dekkers and Michael Misick the drug smuggling former Premier of the  Turks & Caicos, understand the vagaries of fate. The two men were caught within hours of each other, in seemingly-unrelated drug busts. Often that’s an indication they played for the same (losing) team.

And, indeed, both Rudi Dekkers and Michael Misick have firm connections with might be called the ‘Huffman Aviation Crime Family’, a drug trafficking organization which as a sideline ran a flight school training terrorists to fly.


Daniel Hopsicker

Daniel Hopsicker is an investigative journalist and the author of two books on transnational crime, Welcome to Terrorland and Barry & the Boys.

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  1. March 30, 2017

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  3. March 31, 2017

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